Thinking of buying a new workstation - need some advice

Sun workstations/servers and operating systems (SunOS, Solaris and OpenSolaris)
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digitalpioneer
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Unread postby digitalpioneer » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:44 pm

Yes you do have choices... and it seems to me that regardless of what one intends to use a *nix box for that we hold price as the gating factor for its purchase.... in other words, though I may want to do numerical analysis, computational fluid dynamics, climate modeling, TV post production, etc. I am limited by my ability to pay for that optimal machine to accommodate my intended use of it. On the other extreme is the person who intends only to browse the web and send e-mail yet desires to do so on a CRAY XT4. In both case since the funds are coming from an individuals savings, it is the market price that dictates what we get. We all want to get the best value .... so the more horsepower the better, given that the price per unit of horsepower is low and I can afford it.

So what does this all mean, you ask... buy the biggest bad-ass machine you can for the dollars you can stand to part with... 'nuff said!

I'm thinking of getting this --> http://tinyurl.com/yk6vse
{edited by josehill for smaller screens by converting to tinyurl:
original site was cgi.ebay.com/Sun-Enterprise-420R-Quad-4x-450MHz-4G-RAM-36G-\
HD-CD_W0QQitemZ280060991362QQihZ018QQcategoryZ106272QQ\
rdZ1QQcmdZViewItem }

When I was working at the SUN iForce Solution Center in Menlo Park they had hundreds of these things in rows and rows of racks that they were dang proud of.

Now you can get a quad processor with 4 GB of RAM for $USD400.....

unixmuseum
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Unread postby unixmuseum » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:50 pm

digitalpioneer wrote:I'm thinking of getting this --> http://tinyurl.com/yk6vse
{edited by josehill for smaller screens by converting to tinyurl:
original site was cgi.ebay.com/Sun-Enterprise-420R-Quad-4x-450MHz-4G-RAM-36G-\
HD-CD_W0QQitemZ280060991362QQihZ018QQcategoryZ106272QQ\
rdZ1QQcmdZViewItem }

When I was working at the SUN iForce Solution Center in Menlo Park they had hundreds of these things in rows and rows of racks that they were dang proud of.

Now you can get a quad processor with 4 GB of RAM for $USD400.....
This thing is louder than an Altix 350 or an Origin 2000 dude, it's unberable! We had one in the office, it was pure torture! Really unbearable, not the SB1K noise level :-) I couldn't believe it when someone said the SB1K was very noisy, the one on my desk at work is quieter than my colleague's Dell PIV desktop replacement laptop! And I can't hear the one I'm using at home right now, its "noise" is covered by the Sony desktop PC sitting next to it...

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digitalpioneer
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Unread postby digitalpioneer » Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:08 pm

unixmuseum wrote:
digitalpioneer wrote:I'm thinking of getting this --> http://tinyurl.com/yk6vse
{edited by josehill for smaller screens by converting to tinyurl:
original site was cgi.ebay.com/Sun-Enterprise-420R-Quad-4x-450MHz-4G-RAM-36G-\
HD-CD_W0QQitemZ280060991362QQihZ018QQcategoryZ106272QQ\
rdZ1QQcmdZViewItem }

When I was working at the SUN iForce Solution Center in Menlo Park they had hundreds of these things in rows and rows of racks that they were dang proud of.

Now you can get a quad processor with 4 GB of RAM for $USD400.....
This thing is louder than an Altix 350 or an Origin 2000 dude, it's unberable! We had one in the office, it was pure torture! Really unbearable, not the SB1K noise level :-) I couldn't believe it when someone said the SB1K was very noisy, the one on my desk at work is quieter than my colleague's Dell PIV desktop replacement laptop! And I can't hear the one I'm using at home right now, its "noise" is covered by the Sony desktop PC sitting next to it...


Great ... now you tell me the sh*te is noisy ... ... but maybe I 'll just jam it in the rack at work in the swerver room where it is away from humans... and access it from SB.15K on me desktop. That way I won't care about the noise or the power consumption ! :D

-------

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mmendez
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Unread postby mmendez » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:25 am

Yes, unixmuseum, you're right. The Blade 1000 isn't that noisy after all. I somehow had the idea it was. Must have mixed it some rackmount stuff. :D

Still, the power use could be an issue, but again, not higher than what an Octane uses.
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zahal
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Unread postby zahal » Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:14 am

Noisy? Try the Enterprise 3500. It consumes power big time too.
But it's a great box.
Sitting in a room.....thinkin' shit up. :evil:

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digitalpioneer
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Unread postby digitalpioneer » Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:05 pm

mmendez wrote:Yes, unixmuseum, you're right. The Blade 1000 isn't that noisy after all. I somehow had the idea it was. Must have mixed it some rackmount stuff. :D

Still, the power use could be an issue, but again, not higher than what an Octane uses.


Alrighty then, if SB1K = SB2K as far as nosie and pwr consumption, then maybe I will go for that SB2K 2x1.2Ghz 8GB RAM XVR-1200 just for those days when I have heavy web-browsing and alot of e-mails to send.

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zahal
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Unread postby zahal » Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:12 pm

digitalpioneer wrote:
mmendez wrote:Yes, unixmuseum, you're right. The Blade 1000 isn't that noisy after all. I somehow had the idea it was. Must have mixed it some rackmount stuff. :D

Still, the power use could be an issue, but again, not higher than what an Octane uses.


Alrighty then, if SB1K = SB2K as far as nosie and pwr consumption, then maybe I will go for that SB2K 2x1.2Ghz 8GB RAM XVR-1200 just for those days when I have heavy web-browsing and alot of e-mails to send.

----


That's an excellent choice. I was aiming for a SB2500, but since the SB2000 1.2ghz outperforms a higher clocked SB2500 significantly (check out the benchmarks at spec.org), I might go for a SB2000 too. Build quality of the SB2k is a whole lot better than the SB2k5 too.
Sitting in a room.....thinkin' shit up. :evil:

:O2: 400MHz R12k - :320: Dual 600MHz PIII - HP Alphaserver DS15 - Digital DECstation5000/133 - Dell T3500 - Apple G4 Cube dual 500MHz/GF6200 - Newton Messagepad 2100 - Apple PowerBook 2400c/G3@240 - Apple PowerMacintosh 6100/66 - Apple PowerMacintosh 6500/G3@500MHz - Apple Workgroup Server 9150/120 G3@280 - Apple Macintosh IIfx - Apple Macintosh LC475 (OC Full 040 33MHz) - Apple Macintosh Color Classic (Full 040 40Mhz Mystic upgrade) - Sun Cobalt Cube 3 - EBOX 3300A-JSK - Tadpole RDI UltraBook IIi - Compaq Armada 4120 - Digital HiNote Ultra II - HP OmniBook 425 - HP 200LX - Crossbeam C12

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digitalpioneer
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Unread postby digitalpioneer » Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:26 pm

zahal wrote:Noisy? Try the Enterprise 3500. It consumes power big time too.
But it's a great box.


Back in its day, I had an E3000 under my desk. The cubicle layouts were open so 4 people were sharing the same area; luckily my E3000 was up 24/7 so my cube-mates (they had PI Win95 machines) became accustomed to the fan noise.

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Unread postby unixmuseum » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:24 pm

digitalpioneer wrote:Alrighty then, if SB1K = SB2K as far as nosie and pwr consumption, then maybe I will go for that SB2K 2x1.2Ghz 8GB RAM XVR-1200 just for those days when I have heavy web-browsing and alot of e-mails to send.
:-D Why not 16GB? 8GB might be a bit light, don't you think? SB2K is an SB1K with a pimped case, nothing else... Sure, Sun is spewing some weasel bullshit artist "not supported" statement (what else comes out of Sun's mouth? Oh, right, have you updated your OBP :-D) to make people believe that SB2K is a completely different machine and the self-proclaimed higher powers on Sun's newsgroup are repeating this crap to sound important, but the fact of the matter is indeed SB1K=SB2K... Some will argue that the SB2K has a different motherboard revision than SB1K, but then again, if you order a replacement motherboard for an SB1K you end up with the exact same motherboard that makes the SB2K soooo special... OOOPS! 1.2GHz CPU does work in an SB1K, even though it's "not supported" (have you updated your OBP lately? :-) )

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digitalpioneer
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Unread postby digitalpioneer » Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:22 pm

unixmuseum wrote::-D Why not 16GB? 8GB might be a bit light, don't you think? SB2K is an SB1K with a pimped case, nothing else...


Caramba... you mean them buggers @ SUN are lying about the 8GB max for ECC RAM in the SB2K? If I find 2 x X7059A memory kits I could jam 16GB in there?!? I know SUN never "supports" anything past what configurations they put in their price lists even if they work; but with 16GB of RAM I could be author e-mails without worries - DOH!

And I know the pimped case ups the performance as well... imagine the performance gain if I were to add an LED light mod to it - Schweeet!!

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SAQ
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Unread postby SAQ » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:15 am

digitalpioneer wrote:
unixmuseum wrote::-D Why not 16GB? 8GB might be a bit light, don't you think? SB2K is an SB1K with a pimped case, nothing else...


Caramba... you mean them buggers @ SUN are lying about the 8GB max for ECC RAM in the SB2K? If I find 2 x X7059A memory kits I could jam 16GB in there?!? I know SUN never "supports" anything past what configurations they put in their price lists even if they work; but with 16GB of RAM I could be author e-mails without worries - DOH!

And I know the pimped case ups the performance as well... imagine the performance gain if I were to add an LED light mod to it - Schweeet!!

----


Paint it purple- see if that helps.

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Unread postby unixmuseum » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:20 am

SAQ wrote:Paint it purple- see if that helps.
And don't forget to update your OBP :-D

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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:00 pm

That reminds me of the days of SparcStation 20 / SparcServer 20. Same machine, 40% (or thereabouts) price hike for the SparcServer.
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SPARCs

Unread postby SAQ » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:40 pm

R-ten-K wrote: That reminds me of the days of SparcStation 20 / SparcServer 20. Same machine, 40% (or thereabouts) price hike for the SparcServer.


DEC used to pull that type of stunt, too- but there the hardware difference was used as an interlock on the licensing, so you couldn't use your VAXstation as a timeshare machine with more than 2 users (even though the 3100/76 used the same processor as the 4000/300). Not as bad as Microsoft, though- file/printer services didn't eat up licenses.
Has Sun always done unlimited-user licenses, or was there something similar with the SS-20s?
Conversely, are there any Unices (excluding the semi-zombie Tru64 and SCO products) that have per-user licensing still?

unixmuseum wrote:And don't forget to update your OBP


All joking aside, OpenBoot is about the best console firmware currently around, though.

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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:19 pm

I don't know if SUN ever did a per-user licensing scheme, however up to solaris 8 (or maybe up to 9) they had a per-cpu licensing. And it was a weird exponential sort of thing, not that I ever payed directly but as far as the IT people dealing with our systems told me. It was not cheap to license solaris for a 32+ processor machine in yesteryears it seems.

Sun had also a series of crippled sparcstations that were sold as X-terminals, other than the special prom and lack of HDD, they were pretty much a sparcstation.

I think IBM for a while had the same thing going, therewere the POWERStation and POWERServer lines, sometimes it was the exact same machine sans-gfx. I don't know if that affected the price as much as it did in the case of the SUN systems.
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